Buffalo Bill Blog

Nov
26

Thanksgiving Week

 

Happy Thanksgiving Sign

Thanksgiving is this week, so I thought I would list the things for which I am thankful.

What, you thought I was going to discuss cowboy music?

I am thankful for my hometown. I have been to the big city and enjoyed the energy, the diversity, food from a truck, street musicians and unlimited restaurant choices. But none of that compares to old friends, new friends, restaurants where the staff already knows how I like my coffee (just enough cream to take the edge off) and being 100 percent positive that I will see familiar faces every time I walk down Sheridan Avenue.

I am thankful I live in a place where a retired United States senator invites you to call him by his first name.

I am thankful that I can walk past the Dairy Queen and see a former U.S. cabinet secretary and a U.S. senator (not the same one who still lives in town and goes by his first name) enjoying ice cream cones after the dedication of the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center.

I am thankful the West is still alive and that people can visit and see a real rodeo and real cowboys, listen and dance to terrific country and western music and to truly get a feel for what it was like here when the area was settled.

I am thankful that we can visit a world-class museum complex. When my big-city friends visit, they are sincerely impressed at what a spectacular place the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is.

I am thankful I can leave my front door unlocked and walk my dog at any time of day or night.

I am thankful for so many great trout streams.

I am thankful for the tourists who come to visit our town every year. I love meeting new people and hearing them talk about their home towns.

I am thankful to live in a place where people still do business with a handshake.

I am thankful to know that this week when the citizens of Cody will sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner, people with no family in town will be welcome in homes all over town.

Please enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Loving’ life and thinking about leftovers in Cody, Wyo.

cartoon cowgirl with braidsCorrie N. Cody

Nov
19

Back To School

 

While I normally do not preach about some of my deeply held beliefs, today I want to talk about the importance of continuing education. Whether it is taking a French class at Northwest College in Powell or participating in a seminar about roping techniques, I am always open-minded and supportive.

bull charging bull fighterOne of my bucket list items is to go to school to be a bull fighter – dressed as a rodeo clown. I know a guy who works in Yellowstone who went through this training a few years ago. I have this great video of him getting flipped by a bull. It looked scary, but fortunately, he escaped with just a few bruises which he wore as a badge of honor for several days. He still talks about that incident and the bull fighting school as a highlight of his time spent in our town.

I think he enjoyed learning how to put on the makeup a little too much.man holding fish standing in river

Even though I grew up surrounded by some of the best streams in the world for trout fishing, I never really knew how to tie a fly or cast properly. Since we have absolutely terrific fly fishing guides in this area, I tapped into their knowledge and expertise until I reached an acceptable level of competence. Today, I am comfortable in waders and proficient using both dry flies and nymphs to land trout.

There are some times, however, where it just makes sense to return to the basics for a refresher course. Sometimes changes in technology turn things completely upside down (sort of like what that bull did to my friend at rodeo bull fighting school), and it is necessary to learn new techniques.

pink hollyhocksA good example is photography. I learned to shoot and process film long before digital cameras came along. Framing a photo and using light properly have not changed much, but the cameras themselves take some new training.

I have therefore decided that I am going way back to the basics starting next week. This afternoon I am heading over to Eastside Elementary School and signing up for fifth grade.

I remember that year of school as being a turning point in my life. It was the bridge from my childhood to young adulthood. I started to notice that the world was a much bigger place than I realized. My teacher challenged me and my classmates to better ourselves.

You cannot imagine how much I look forward to going back to school.snow covered mountains with sign reading Sleeping Giant Ski Area

There’s one other thing I am anticipating. You see, Sleeping Giant Ski Area has opened for the season, and fifth graders are eligible for a free season pass.

See you on the slopes.

Future valedictorian and current snow bunny,

Corrie N. Cody.cartoon cowgirl

Nov
12

Veterans Day

 

military on horses carrying flags

Today, the day after Veterans Day, I want to thank all of the men and women who served our country in the military and were fortunate enough to return home.

As opposed to Memorial Day which is a solemn day honoring the people who served their country and paid the ultimate price, Veterans Day to me is more of a celebration and a time to remember friends and family who served.

Like most people, I can list family members who served in the military. Two of my great grandfathers fought in World War I. In fact, they were very close to each other in eastern France in the Alsace region which has flipped back and forth over the centuries between Germany and France. The only time I ever heard of the two of them talking about the war was one Christmas gathering when they figured out that they had been in several of the same villages. They did not discuss the trenches or actual battles.

My maternal grandfather was in the Army in the Philippines during World War II. His brother was also there and was able to track down my grandfather as he recovered from injuries. Both made it home in one piece and were true examples of what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Generation.”

Several other members of my family served in the military. Today, two nephews are officers in the Air Force and are early in their careers as pilots.

Countless friends, classmates and others I have known have served as well in the Marines, Air Force Army and Navy.

Some enlisted to carry on family traditions. Others were unsure of their futures and were looking for direction. Others joined after terrorist attacks and felt a deep desire to defend our country. All of them should know that they are appreciated.

It’s impossible to say it too often, too loudly or with too much conviction, but I just want to say it one more time.

“Thank you for your service.”

Until next time, I’m loving freedom paid for by our veterans.

Corrie N. Codycartoon cowgirl with braids

Nov
05

November Quiet Time

 

empty fields with fall leaves and mountains in background

Things are quiet right now in our little slice of heaven. Most of the roads in the park are closed as the National Park Service allows the snow to build up so that the over-the-snow vehicles will have a good base come December. It’s a bit chilly to go rafting down the Shoshone River, and the Nite Rodeo buttoned up its operations until next Memorial Day.

I still see fishermen coming through town, and the hunters like to stay in town and enjoy our restaurants and nightly entertainment. The museums are always great with many visitors taking extra time to learn about the area and its early inhabitants, natural features, art and more.

There is still some time before the ice climbing gets going. It’s also easy to imagine hitting the slopes at Sleeping Giant Ski Area.

For the most part, however, we are in that shoulder season where many of us cut back on our hours and reconnect with friends who worked many days – sometimes weeks – in a row because that is simply what we do in an area that ebbs and flows with so closely related to the patterns of tourists.

I love it this way.

I have tried the 9-to-5 life in an office, but I found myself getting antsy and manufacturing reasons to be outside. Instead of picking up the phone to call Kenny Martin about the status of the wild mustangs roaming the BLM land out past the airport, I felt the need to discuss the topic in person. While I was talking with him, it seemed like a good idea for me to hop on the bus with his tour group and see the horses for myself.

Another time I needed to pick up office supplies and decided to use some discount coupons I found online. The problem was that the supply store in question was located in Casper. Nobody believed me when I said the car seemed to have a mind of its own. They told me I had been reading too many Stephen King novels.

That job did not last long. It seems the boss expected me to stay at my desk and do the various tasks assigned to me. I take full responsibility, but it was a good experience. Sort of like that time I went and lived with my aunt in New York City. I can say I gave it an honest effort and learned that I am simply not a big-city girl.

This is not to say that I shy away from work. When I was young and scooping ice cream, I loved it when the tour bus pulled up and a group of 50 people would walk in the front door. We would work long hours for as many days in a row as necessary. Our crew would be a case study for efficiency, dedication and teamwork.

I know that this lull will not last long. The holidays are approaching quickly, and special events throughout the winter will be that much more enjoyable. Many business owners are taking the time to make sure their equipment is in good working order and figuring out marketing plans for next year.

There is still so much for visitors to do around here in the winter. Sometimes it just takes an extra layer and proper directions around town. You don’t want to end up in Casper for office supplies.

Until next time, I’m enjoying the quiet time in Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Corrie N. Codycartoon cowgirl with braids

Oct
29

Halloween Costume

 

black cats, bats and witch flying in air on broom

With Halloween quickly approaching I am frantically trying to figure out what costume I will wear as I pass out candy. I don’t want it to be too frightening, but I will want something that will work for the grownup party Friday night.

 When I was a little girl, my mother always wanted me to dress up like a cowgirl. One year she said I could be a barrel racer, and the next I could be the rodeo queen.

 “Mother,” I always responded, “This will be the most boring costume because everybody dresses that way around here every other day of the year.”

 “Well, what about being a zombie cowgirl?” she asked.

 It was only years later that I realized my mother just didn’t have the Halloween costume gene.

 Also, she was cheap.

 One thing I don’t like to do is just head down to Wal Mart and buy a prepackaged costume. I am okay buying individual components like a Lady Godiva wig or stuffed parrot to go on my shoulder as part of my parrot costume.

 Last year, I purchased a beard about two feet long, and I never used it. Because I just couldn’t decide if I wanted to be one of those Duck Dynasty guys or a member of Z.Z. Top, I threw the beard in the box and forgot about it.

 As a semi/pseudo spokesperson for the town, I decided that any costume I wear should reflect Cody and Park County.

 Therefore when I went through the box this morning and came across the beard, I tried to figure out who would let his beard grow out like that.

 That’s when it came to me.

Jeremiah Liver Eating Johnston

 This year I am going to be Liver Eating Johnston.

 The locals know who I am talking about, but those of you who have not been to Cody are probably wondering who I’m talking about.

 Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston was a mountain man who lived in the West in the mid-1880s. According to legend, his American Indian wife was killed and he himself was the target of many attempts on his life by native peoples.

 Johnston made peace with the tribes and embarked on a career as a scout, trapper hunter and more in the West, mainly Wyoming and Montana. He died in 1900 and was buried in California.

 When a California highway was slated to go right through the veteran’s cemetery where Johnston was buried, a group of seventh graders in Los Angeles began a campaign to have his remains reinterred in a place that seemed to better reflect this man’s life.

 As a result, in 1974 Johnston was buried at Old Trail Town on the original downtown Cody City site. You can see his grave and read about him on the wall of one of the homesteader cabins.

 If you are thinking that this sounds a lot like the Jeremiah Johnston immortalized by Robert Redford in a movie, you are right on the money. In fact, Redford was an honorary pallbearer at the Cody ceremony.

 If you see me walking around town Thursday night, please be sure to say hello.

 And if you happen to speak to Robert Redford, tell him I have risen from the grave and am looking for him.

 Until next time, I tricking and treating in Buffalo Bill and Jeremiah Johnston country!

Corrie N. CodyCartoon cowgirl with braids

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